Price Waterhouse Coopers recently released the results of its 2016 US CEO Survey, detailing the top issues CEOs in the US expect to see and what they are planning to do in the year ahead. The full results of the survey, which makes for very interesting reading, can be found here. Most interesting to us in our work at Storyforge and indeed for all businesses is number 4 on the list of top 10 findings: Customers and other stakeholders will expect business to demonstrate a higher purpose over the coming years.
Expanding on this point, the survey goes on to say:
CEOs expect that in the near future, many of their customers and prospective employees will seek to understand the “purpose” of business and the impact that operations have on the wider world. And where customers and talent go, investors will follow. As eBay Inc. President and CEO Devin Wenig puts it, with competition coming from every angle, “purpose doesn’t have to be a do-good mission. Purpose is, ‘What’s the hole in the universe if your company isn’t there?’ To me, that sits above your brand, above your strategy, above your operations.”
Ultimately the CEO must deal with matters of the head and the heart to secure the confidence of all their stakeholders to move ahead.
We’ve documented the rise of the Purpose-driven brand in the past but it seems that 2016 has brought an increased interest in awareness in the business case for pursuing purpose. No longer are companies thinking solely about corporate social responsibility, but rather a new acknowledgement that business is more profitable when all stakeholder’s needs are addressed and met. Rather than purpose being relegated to a single department in an organization, it sits atop the organization, directing all activities and initiatives. Customers and employees are demanding it. What greater impetus are we waiting for?
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